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A Major Wake-up Call

A Major Wake-up Call

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

June 25, 2018

Sobering images juxtapose childhood innocence with wartime realities.

"It’s creating a huge contrast between what we experienced growing up and how it is in war zones."

Havas Düsseldorf creates this stark print campaign for Caritas Internationalis that casts a light on the heartbreaking situation of children who live in war zones. Creative Directors Tobias Rabe and Christoph Damanik tell us more about how the team is drawing attention to children who, every day, are surrounded by conflict.

 

What’s the message behind each of these striking pictures?

Pictures of war and terror seem to be omnipresent these days. We see these pictures without really perceiving them anymore. “Out of Place” was created to provoke a second view—a deeper one. To see beyond the obvious to what lies behind it. One might think: The clown, the ice cream truck, or the balloon seller is out of place—but it’s the kids. But you have to look for them in the background. Here we have the metaphor: The cruelty lies beneath surface.

How did this idea come about?

Donations are crucial to Caritas Internationalis. Donations enable the organization to provide help around the globe. But here we have the big issue: The willingness to donate money decreases every year. That’s why Caritas Internationalis asked us to develop a campaign that not only shows the common motifs of despair in war zones, but also highlights on the issue we have in Germany: Everyone turns a blind eye to the problems in crisis areas because we just filter it out with all the content overload that we get everyday.

That’s why we decided to create a sort of wake-up call to revive this meaningful topic. Overlooking something as unacceptable as children in war zones makes people feel ashamed; they feel busted. By evoking this feeling, we bring the real misery of the situation forward in people’s minds. It might be an uncomfortable feeling, but it helps to raise awareness for Caritas’ important work and the circumstantial situation of children in war zones.

Why did the creative team choose to juxtapose the specific images of a balloon seller, an ice cream truck, and a clown in these war zones?

We didn’t want to choose arbitrary objects that only aim to be disruptive and to distract the spectator’s attention. We consciously choose elements that relate to kids; elements that—in Europe for example—are common childhood desires and pleasures. It’s creating a huge contrast between what we experienced growing up and how it is in war zones.

"We are obliged to do something to change the situation in the Arabic Republic."

Are there specific areas of conflict that Caritas Internationalis wanted to draw attention to?

In Syria, an entire generation will grow up as a war generation. Caritas supports those who suffer most in the aftermaths of war. So as a result, many Caritas projects are initiated to help children. More than 5,000 children are supported at school, for example, by offering tutoring courses or by providing school supplies. For children, a structured, everyday life is important for them to be able to find emotional stability and to process their experiences.

What steps can ordinary global citizens make to help change these situations?

The war and the totalitarian Assad regime are things we cannot close our eyes to. We are obliged to do something to change the situation in the Arabic Republic. The easiest way is to donate. With the help of donations, Caritas Internationalis can provide aid quickly and without facing bureaucratic hurdles.

For example, Assad uses food like a weapon of war and literally starves the captive citizens. The donations enable Caritas to use informal ways to provide the people with relief supplies in the contested areas. This means that even a small donation can be a crucial help.

"It’s creating a huge contrast between what we experienced growing up and how it is in war zones."

Havas Düsseldorf creates this stark print campaign for Caritas Internationalis that casts a light on the heartbreaking situation of children who live in war zones. Creative Directors Tobias Rabe and Christoph Damanik tell us more about how the team is drawing attention to children who, every day, are surrounded by conflict.

 

What’s the message behind each of these striking pictures?

Pictures of war and terror seem to be omnipresent these days. We see these pictures without really perceiving them anymore. “Out of Place” was created to provoke a second view—a deeper one. To see beyond the obvious to what lies behind it. One might think: The clown, the ice cream truck, or the balloon seller is out of place—but it’s the kids. But you have to look for them in the background. Here we have the metaphor: The cruelty lies beneath surface.

How did this idea come about?

Donations are crucial to Caritas Internationalis. Donations enable the organization to provide help around the globe. But here we have the big issue: The willingness to donate money decreases every year. That’s why Caritas Internationalis asked us to develop a campaign that not only shows the common motifs of despair in war zones, but also highlights on the issue we have in Germany: Everyone turns a blind eye to the problems in crisis areas because we just filter it out with all the content overload that we get everyday.

That’s why we decided to create a sort of wake-up call to revive this meaningful topic. Overlooking something as unacceptable as children in war zones makes people feel ashamed; they feel busted. By evoking this feeling, we bring the real misery of the situation forward in people’s minds. It might be an uncomfortable feeling, but it helps to raise awareness for Caritas’ important work and the circumstantial situation of children in war zones.

Why did the creative team choose to juxtapose the specific images of a balloon seller, an ice cream truck, and a clown in these war zones?

We didn’t want to choose arbitrary objects that only aim to be disruptive and to distract the spectator’s attention. We consciously choose elements that relate to kids; elements that—in Europe for example—are common childhood desires and pleasures. It’s creating a huge contrast between what we experienced growing up and how it is in war zones.

"We are obliged to do something to change the situation in the Arabic Republic."

Are there specific areas of conflict that Caritas Internationalis wanted to draw attention to?

In Syria, an entire generation will grow up as a war generation. Caritas supports those who suffer most in the aftermaths of war. So as a result, many Caritas projects are initiated to help children. More than 5,000 children are supported at school, for example, by offering tutoring courses or by providing school supplies. For children, a structured, everyday life is important for them to be able to find emotional stability and to process their experiences.

What steps can ordinary global citizens make to help change these situations?

The war and the totalitarian Assad regime are things we cannot close our eyes to. We are obliged to do something to change the situation in the Arabic Republic. The easiest way is to donate. With the help of donations, Caritas Internationalis can provide aid quickly and without facing bureaucratic hurdles.

For example, Assad uses food like a weapon of war and literally starves the captive citizens. The donations enable Caritas to use informal ways to provide the people with relief supplies in the contested areas. This means that even a small donation can be a crucial help.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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